Fantastic! John Waite at City Winery (May 24, 2018)

John Waite has been making music since 1976 when he formed the Babys in London. He starts his set with a song from that era, “Midnight Rendezvous”. In 1981, the group disbanded and he released the album Ignition as a solo artist the following year. For the second song of the night, he plays “Change” from that album.

His second solo album, No Brakes (1984), produced his most famous song, “Missing You”, of which he does an acoustic version tonight. He introduces the song by saying it took him only 50 minutes to write and it changed his life.  It’s a giant sing-a-long and the entire audience is all smiles.

In 1989, he formed Bad English and they released “When I See You Smile”, which is also part of tonight’s set. It’s a real career retrospective that all goes together very smoothly.  In 2017, he released Wooden Heart, Volume 2, which features “Downtown”. He tells us this song is about walking around downtown Manhattan and seeing the places his friends and former lovers used to live.

He plays two covers tonight. “All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan and “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. While these are both great songs, they seem out of place in his set and he doesn’t give any context for them.

Throughout the night, he is very conversational with the audience. This includes a long exchange with a guy who got up to use the restroom while he was talking. He also calls out the server for not giving him drinks. This stage banter makes the show feel more intimate and definitely adds to the fantastic performance.

See the full setlist here.

Quinn Delaney

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